Rail times between London and Hastings could be dramatically cut, Amber Rudd MP said. Following the track layout changes at Ashford International, further stages of the work – the introduction of hybrid or battery-powered trains, and line speed improvements to the Eastbourne-Ashford International line, could deliver the target high speed journey times of London to Hastings in 66 – 69 minutes.
After a recent meeting with Andrew Jones MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport and the Minister responsible for rail, Amber said:
“I was pleased to have such an encouraging meeting with the Minister. High speed journey times will bring our towns huge economic regeneration benefits and also many new opportunities for our residents.
“I will be holding a high speed rail working group shortly, inviting all stakeholders to meet with Network Rail following their report to discuss the strategy for moving forwards. Delivering high speed journey times to Hastings is one of my top priorities as the MP and I will continue to work closely with the Government, local Government, local rail user groups and national rail organisations to deliver the most comfortable and efficient rail services to Hastings.”
In November 2017, the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, committed to supporting the development of a proposed track layout at Ashford International which would allow trains from Hastings, Rye, Bexhill and Eastbourne to travel direct to London St Pancras. The Department for Transport has been jointly funding the development work for the proposed track layout changes with local authorities with works expected to be completed in the next few weeks.
Responding to a letter from Amber lobbying the Department for their ongoing support for the high speed project, Chris Grayling commended Amber on her “continuing enthusiasm and support in championing high speed rail services to Hastings” in early February 2019.
During the recent meeting, Amber was pleased to receive the Minister’s “encouraging support” for the project.
Notes to editors:
Amber is pictured with Andrew Jones, the Minister responsible for rail.